On June 2, a sunny afternoon in downtown Fort Lauderdale, hundreds of South Floridians and visitors to the area gathered at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society’s New River Inn for the second annual “Taste the Islands Experience.” Food and drink enthusiasts enjoyed delicious island bites, live cooking demos, artisan shopping, live music, and a variety of unique cultural elements. Part proceeds benefited the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
Attendees were fabulously attired in island chic garb. The sweet sounds of a steel drum band, provided by partner event Miami Broward Carnival, greeted guests at the entry, where they were welcomed with champagne and mimosas before stepping into a Caribbean-themed paradise. The aromas of gourmet curry, jerk and creole recipes by the featured chefs wafted through the island pavilions as guests savored dishes from Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad, plus cocktails from Barbados.
Guests enjoyed live demos featuring celebrity chefs including “Taste the Islands” TV show hosts Cynthia “Chef Thia” Verna of Haiti and Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair of Jamaica, as well as Chef Amit Raval, head chef of Amtar Fine Foods in Trinidad, and award winning mixologist Philip “Casanova” Antoine of Barbados. Culinary support was offered by top Caribbean brands Lakay Food and Grace Foods, and by the Jamaica Tourist Board.
A wide variety of Caribbean fare was available at Restaurant Row, where local cafes and caterers representing multiple islands including the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands, offered mouthwatering menu selections from vegan to meat lovers to jerk grape nut flavored ice cream. An open bar served island specialties including Red Stripe Beer and Appleton Rum. DJs Nickymix and Richie D created the audial atmosphere, taking guests on a musical island journey, while the incomparable Steve “Sir Rockwell” Warner kept guests in high spirits throughout the event.
In the Caribbean Culinary Museum and Culinary Theater, funded in part by multiple Broward County Cultural organizations, guests enjoyed an immersive cultural foray into the region’s history. Attendees were given VIP treatment, with complimentary massages by Goldson Spine, Makeup by Rory Lee and hair touch-ups by Miss Jessie’s.
One lucky winner received the raffle prize of a 5-day, 4-night all-inclusive trip for two to Barbados, including hotel and air travel, compliments of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. Yellow Cab of Broward, the event’s official transportation partner, was on-hand to transport guests to and from the event.
The 2018 “Taste the Islands Experience” was supported by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, and presented by media and production company Island Syndicate whose directors include the visionaries behind the “Taste the Islands” television series and Island Origins Magazine. It was co-presented by the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, proud steward of our community’s past by making our heritage accessible and engaging to residents and visitors.
For more information about the 2018 “Taste the Islands Experience,” and to stay up to date on “Taste the Islands Experience” events, please visit www.ttiexperience.com.
About Island Syndicate
Island Syndicate is a media, arts and entertainment company that produces unforgettable events and exceptional content, inspired by the Caribbean. The team offers publishing, video production, photography and other corporate creative services, and is passionate about delivering superior quality to their discerning clients. For more information, please visit www.islandsyndicate.com.
About the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS)
For 56 years, the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (FLHS) has brought the stories of our diverse community to life through engaging educational experiences, innovative cultural exhibits, research and preservation of artifacts. Residents and visitors to Fort Lauderdale are invited to explore the city’s rich past that is housed in five historic buildings on a lushly landscaped campus – the 1907 King Cromartie House Museum, the History Museum of Fort Lauderdale situated in the 1905 New River Inn, the 1905 Philemon Nathaniel Bryan House, the 1899 Replica Ivy Cromartie Schoolhouse and the Hoch Research Library, South Florida’s foremost history center housing print resources and newspapers from 1910-present plus 400,000 archival photos, 2,500 maps and 5,000 architectural blueprints. The FLHS is located at 219 Southwest Second Avenue in Fort Lauderdale. Museum hours are Monday – Friday from noon – 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults; $12 for seniors and $7 for students (through age 22 with a valid student ID). Admission is free for members, military and children ages six and under. Group tours are available by request. The FLHS is a nonprofit agency supported by memberships, grants and charitable contributions. Click here to donate. For more information, please call (954) 463-4431 or visit us online at www.
“Taste the Islands” TV show co-host Hugh “Chef Irie” Sinclair of Jamaica, along with other prominent Caribbean chefs and restaurants, showcased the best in island cuisine and culture at the 2018 “Taste the Islands Experience” on Saturday, June 2, at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society